49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made leaps and bounds in Sunday's 41-17 win over the Bengals.
Garoppolo completed 17 of 25 passes for 297 with three touchdowns and one interception. Aside from his poor decision that resulted in the INT, he was nearly flawless.
NBC Sports' Peter King asked coach Kyle Shanahan which of Garoppolo's plays he was the proudest of, and the answer could come as a surprise.
“When he didn’t throw it and he ran for the first down,” Shanahan told King.
The play came on the 49ers' second drive, which concluded with a 39-yard touchdown pass to running back Raheem Mostert. Before that, though, Garoppolo scrambled 9 yards for a first down on third-and-six earlier in the drive.
“He’s never scrambled a ton, but you want him to be comfortable enough to do when he has to," Shanahan said. "And coming off the ACL, it’s good to see him have the confidence to make a play like that.”
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Garoppolo rushed for 8 yards on four carries in the win. He'll never be a threat on the ground, but the ability to keep drives alive with his legs is a huge benefit to the 49ers offense.
And like Shanahan said, it has to be a positive sight to see Garoppolo trust his knee and believe he can stay safe on the field.
Jimmy Garoppolo balled out in the 49ers' thrilling 48-46 win over the Saints last Sunday.
For the third time this season, Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes in a game.
In guiding the 49ers to an NFC-best 11-2 record, Garoppolo has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,245 yards. He's thrown 25 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions this season.
While Garoppolo's not in the MVP conversation, he's putting up solid numbers as the 49ers continue to rack up wins. But there is one anonymous NFC offensive coach that still hasn't quite bought into Garoppolo.
"I don’t think he can do it consistently, but he did it today," the coach told The Athletic's Mike Sando after the 49ers beat the Saints. "[Drew] Brees moved down the field and scored. That is what you expect. I didn’t know that Garoppolo would be able to do it, but he did it."
Sando noted that in his annual Quarterback Tiers survey, the coach in question had Garoppolo on the second tier in 2017. Last season, after Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL in Week 3, the coach moved Garoppolo down to the third tier of NFL quarterbacks.
Whether or not Garoppolo is an elite quarterback is up for debate. NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms feels the 49ers quarterback is "really good," but doesn't consider him elite. But what is for certain is that Garoppolo is not a "third tier" quarterback. He doesn't have the gaudy numbers like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson or Lamar Jackson, but Garoppolo has a 19-4 career record as a starter in the NFL. That can't be ignored.
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Garoppolo will have another chance to impress the offensive coach Sunday when the 49ers host the Falcons at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
When the Arizona Cardinals waived veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs on Friday, 49ers fans instantly wondered if the top team in the NFC would try to claim T-Sizzle.
NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco believes Suggs would be a fit for the 49ers due to injuries to Ronald Blair, Damontre Moore and Dee Ford.
But you can lower your expectations, 49ers fans.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Saturday, citing league sources, that Suggs would "strongly consider not reporting if a team other than the Baltimore Ravens claims him."
Suggs spent the first 16 years of his NFL career in Baltimore, so it's understandable that the Ravens are the only team he wants to play for.
While it appears Suggs won't be donning a 49ers' uniform, it would still make sense for the 49ers to put in a waiver claim on the 37-year-old.
Assuming Suggs gets through the 30 teams ahead of the 49ers in the waiver order, the 49ers would be wise to try to block the linebacker from going to the Ravens.
After all, the 49ers and Ravens could meet up in Super Bowl LIV, and the last thing San Francisco wants to see is T-Sizzle coming after Jimmy Garoppolo.
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And you never know. Maybe coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch can convince Suggs to play for the 49ers.
Suggs' fate will be decided Monday when teams can put in a waiver claim on him. No matter what happens, the 49ers absolutely should claim him.